By Amir Hussein Abbas
Agrarian Secretary Brother John Castriciones has appealed to mediamen to report the anomalies they see in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in their respective localities or regions so that Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) can correct the mistakes and punish the individuals who are violating the law.
“We want you to become our partners in uplifting the lives of our farmers. It defeats the purpose of our mandate if anomalous activities such as the illegal conversion of lands or other injustices to small farmers are being committed. Be our eyes and ears as we carry out our mandate of bringing social justice in the countryside,” Brother John said during the DAR’s press conference in Koronadal City on April 14, 2021.
Brother John said that the DAR could help the mediamen by asking the police forces to protect them if they are being harassed by the suspected perpetrators.
“We have no police powers but we can ask the Philippine National Police to protect you. DAR personnel always experience harassment and even face legal suits filed by powerful landowners, but they still do their job to help the farmers despite the risk. I hope that you would do the same for our farmers,” Castriciones said.
After the press conference, Brother John, with other DAR top officials and personnel delivered the land titles of 41 agrarian reform beneficiaries directly at their respective homes in South Cotabato, under its DAR to Door program.
They also visited two (2) project sites of Buhay sa Gulay, an urban farming initiative of the agency, in the provinces of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
In Sultan Kudarat, the DAR distributed 515 hectares of lands to 207 ARBs and farm machinery to ARB Organizations. The event was also capped by turning over the 2.8-kilometer farm-to-market road in the town of Lambayong. PR